Written by LighterShadeOfPink
This is part of my “I story” and how I became a Red Jacket.
I started out as a Mary Kay customer with a facial with my soon-to-be Sales Director. My first purchase was the Miracle Set, eye products, and Satin Lips. My SD said, “I think you would be great at this business.” A month later I had a follow-up facial and purchased a whole set of color products. Again she said she thought I would be great in the Mary Kay.
She invited me to several breakfast events and after declining several times, I accepted her third invitation. The “MRSCAB” survey was on my plate. When I saw that I could buy my products at cost and earn a little money on the side, I signed up. Little did I know that the “rush” was about to begin.
My SD said the first step was to attend training on how to conduct a skin care class and I needed to bring a guest. I was too uncomfortable bringing a guest, so I arrived without one. All the other consultants at the training center had a guest and were giving facials. I felt out of place because I had no one to facial. I vowed not to make that mistake again.
The next week I brought my best friend to a “training event.” I gave her a facial and my director recruited her. Wham! I had my first recruit and I had not purchased my inventory yet. I was excited; the two of us would go into business together.
The next week I invited another girlfriend and her college-aged daughter. We did color makeovers and at the end of the session my director recruited both of them. Kaboom! I had my second recruit and my friend had her first. Wow, this was fun.
The next week I brought my college-age daughter to an NSD event a little further from my home. We rode in my director’s car and talked MK all the way. Again, at the end of the event, my director tried to recruit my daughter. She did not bite . . . not yet, anyway.
The next week I went to the monthly breakfast event and brought two friends with me. My director recruited one of them. Bam! I was now a Red Jacket.
Two days later, I arrived at our weekly success meeting and was blind sighted by a special reception just for me. I was seated in a special chair, crowned queen of recruiting, given “red” gifts from everyone in the unit such as a red pen, a red rose pin, and a red key chain. Photos were taken of me with my team. I received a certificate and gifts from my Sales Director. I moved up to the prestigious “Red Jacket Row,” that was reserved for Red Jackets only. It was all so exhilarating and unexpected.
The next week I went to a local area retreat put on by several area sales directors. Again I was the center of attention. Now I was with several units from different seminar areas and I was the top recruiter. I was crowned queen on stage in front of a large audience, I received prizes, I as interviewed me on stage, and congratulated at every turn.
The next recruit I got on my own. I held a double facial with a friend and her daughter. I recruited the daughter with the 100% support of her mother. She was my fourth.
My fifth recruit came when I invited my daughter to an event with all her friends. My director did her best to recruit all of them. It was a week or two later, at a skin care class, that my daughter said she wanted to do the business too. She was my fifth recruit and now I was a Team Leader. That month all my team members made their initial inventory orders and I got the coveted 9% “love check”.
As much fun as I was having I started to feel uncomfortable; I had only conducted one fumbled skin care class and a facial or two. I had minimal knowledge of the products. That didn’t matter to my director. I was on a roll and she wanted to keep me moving. She said it was time for me to choose a name for my team that would eventually become my unit name once I became a sales director. When I expressed my discomfort with moving so fast she said, “Why do it slow when you can do it fast? I want you to be director with me, go to Leadership Conference with me, and be with me on top director trips.”
In the pit of my stomach things did not feel right. I had not perfected the skin care class, I knew nothing about what was involved in being a director and I was now supposed to coach my team on skills I had not mastered myself. “Don’t worry,” my director told me, “You will learn all you need at fall retreat.”
Just before fall retreat my director contacted me squealing with delight. I had been invited to speak at a Red Jacket panel. I would be seated at a special table with the top eight or so Red Jackets from my national area. We would be interviewed in front hundreds of other Red Jackets. Wow, I was excited.
An Elite Executive Senior Sales Director was the moderator. She asked a series of questions and the microphone was passed down the table. One by one we answered questions. One of the first questions she asked was, “What is your favorite booking technique?” Panic arose in my body. I had no booking technique. I had only held one skin care class and a few family facials. She handed me the microphone and I froze, speechless. I looked out in the crowd as hundreds of women were staring at me and I had nothing to say.
I fumbled some of answer about being really new, doing whatever my director told me to do, and bringing guests to events and weekly success meetings. The questions kept coming. I did not have answers because I did not have any experience. The final question came, “What is your purpose?” My heart sank. “Purpose? What in the world is a ‘purpose’?”
Needless to say it was a very stressful experience. It should have been a big red flag that something is terribly wrong in a business when an inexperienced consultant is put in front of hundreds of people to share her expertise when she had none. My director recruited the majority of my team members, not me.
As much as I would like to say that I came to my senses after that experience, I did not. That night was our national area awards night with the all consultants and directors in attendance. I was on stage over and over again, receiving prizes for sales, star orders, recruiting, and other product sales challenges. I came home invigorated and empowered to move my business ahead. I was on the move to the next level, clueless about where I was headed. It took a long time before I came to my senses and left Mary Kay.